Cooking someone’s favourite meal, making them a cup of tea without being asked – and watching a TV show or film you hate but know they enjoy are among the top 50 signs you care, a study has found.

A poll, of 2,000 adults, has revealed the top ways to show you care, which also includes sharing your food with them, giving them the biggest or last slice of cake and doing the chores without being asked.

Preparing a healthy meal for them, taking them out for a surprise meal and taking an interest in a subject that interests them, even if you find it boring feature in the top 50.

Some people really go the extra mile to show they care by taking part in a diet with them, or even doing an extreme challenge such as a marathon or charity run with them to offer their support.

But while most do something to show they care to make the recipient feel loved, to cheer them up or to motivate them, more than four in ten admit to doing it to earn brownie points they can bank for later.

It also emerged eight in ten Brits consider themselves to be big-hearted, with the average adult doing something to show they care around once a day.

Camilla Sheeley from Tilda Basmati rice, which commissioned the research to launch a campaign for Genuine Goodness said:

“Everyone wants to feel they are cared for and appreciated and sometimes it only takes something small to make people feel this way. “Something as simple as a spontaneous hug or just a smile can really make someone feel better.

“Food also appears to be a great way of showing you care – whether it’s just cooking them their favourite meal when they’ve had a hard day or making a healthy and nutritious dish to support them if they are on a special diet or not feeling 100%.”

Carole Ann Rice, Life Coach and author says:

“Offering to cook a meal when someone is ill, remembering birthdays or special occasions, helping a friend declutter a spare room or join them on a scary hospital appointment can make life meaningful and rich. Little and often is the key to sustained happiness and enjoyment of life and that can be right here, right now and in the present.”

Giving them a compliment came fifth, with texting them to see how they are, saying ‘thank-you’, listening when they need to offload, saying ‘I love you’ for no reason and offering to share your food among the top ten.

Other ways to show you care include remembering important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, recording their favourite TV show, or one you think they might enjoy and cooking a meal you know they like, despite it being something you aren’t keen on.

Researchers found 95 per cent of people say they make a conscious effort to show they care with the majority (74%) doing it to make someone feel loved.

Others do it to cheer someone up (56%), to show their appreciation (64%), motivate them (28%) and to help someone become fit and healthy (16%).

But 42 per cent admit to doing something to show they care just to get brownie points or extra credit with their partner, friend or relative.

And it’s men who are most likely to do this, with 47 per cent admitting to it compared to just 37 per cent of women.

Thirty-eight per cent even said they have reminded someone of an act of kindness when they needed the favour returned.

It also emerged that 69 per cent of people believe food and cooking is a great way of showing someone that you care.

The best type of meal to cook is their favourite dish, followed by a hearty dinner, a healthy meal or a meal from their childhood.

And a staggering 85 per cent of people say having a meal cooked for them makes them feel cared for or appreciated.

Camilla Sheeley from Tilda Basmati rice: “Food seems to be the way to a loved one’s heart, so we have created a Big Hearted Cookbook full of feel good recipes for all occasions. See Tilda.

Top 50 ways we show someone we care:

1. Cooking them their favourite meal
2. Making a cup of tea without being asked
3. Asking if they’re ok
4. A spontaneous hug
5. Giving a compliment
6. Texting them to see how they are
7. Saying thank-you for something
8. Listening to them when they need to offload
9. Saying ‘I love you’ for no reason
10. Sharing your food with them
11. Remembering important dates like anniversaries
12. Buying a little present for no reason
13. Saving the last/biggest piece of cake for them
14. Offering to help with the cleaning
15. Taking an interest even if the subject matter isn’t interesting
16. Watching their favourite film/TV programmes even though you don’t like them
17. Cooking them a healthy meal
18. Giving them the bigger potion of a meal you’ve cooked
19. Recording their favourite TV show
20. Buying them their favourite treat just to surprise them
21. Recording something you think they might like to watch
22. Making them breakfast in bed
23. Cooking a meal you don’t really like but they do
24. Do a cleaning job/household chore without being asked
25. Taking an interest in something you know they like such as favourite football team etc
26. Sending flowers for no reason
27. Take them out for a surprise meal
28. Offering to do the household chores you know they hate
29. Buying something you see that reminds you of them or that you think they might like
30. Planning a surprise trip away
31. Run them a bath
32. Taking part on a diet or eating plan with them
33. Supporting them on a life improvement mission such as retraining
34. Sending them a funny video/picture when you know they need cheering up
35. Taking part or helping them to train in a challenge such as a charity run with them
36. Giving them your last piece of chocolate.
37. Surprising them with a bottle of wine when you know they have had a bad day
38. Offering to pick them up from work when the weather is bad
39. Sending/giving them a card to say thank-you/ you are thinking of them
40. Buying tickets to a show/concert you don’t really like but you know they love
41. Not watching ahead when you are watching a box set together
42. Giving them the better one out of two cups of tea
43. Offering to look after the children so they can have some me-time
44. Getting up with the kids and letting them lie in
45. Putting a note in with their lunch
46. Buying someone a ticket back home if they live away
47. Posting a thank-you/nice post to them on social media
48. Leaving them water/paracetamol when you know they are going to wake up hungover
49. Improving their diet
50. Helping the children to make them a picture/note for them

From the Big Hearted Cookbook

Lamb Biryani

Created by Dr Sarah Schenker for the Tilda® Genuine Goodness initiative

Tasty and fragrant baked biryani with lamb, potatoes and green beans – a perfect entertaining dish to have with friends

Serves: 4

  • Preparation time: 15 mins
  • Cooking time: 50 mins


  • 300g Tilda® Pure Basmati
  • Masala Paste
  • 20g vegetable oil
  • 20g salted butter
  • 150g red onions, chopped
  • 20g garlic puree
  • 40g ginger puree
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Biryani
  • 530g lean lamb diced
  • 30g vegetable oil
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cardamon pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 800ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g baby potatoes, boiled for 15 minutes
  • 80g green beans, cooked for 5-6 minutes


  1. Fry all of the masala ingredients together until soft in a large pan
  2. Add the diced lamb and cook until sealed
  3. In a separate pan heat the remaining oil, add the whole spices and heat for a few minutes
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat with the spice mix
  5. Add the water and salt then combine with the lamb mix, potatoes, and green beans
  6. Transfer to a large oven proof casserole
  7. Cook at 180°C fan oven for 50 minutes stirring at regular intervals
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander to serve

Rice Pudding Breakfast Bowl

Created by Dr Sarah Schenker for the Tilda® Genuine Goodness initiative
Created by Dr Sarah Schenker for the Tilda® Genuine Goodness initiative

A light fruity breakfast bowl that can be prepared the night before to enjoy the following morning

Serves: 2

  • Preparation time: 5 mins
  • Cooking time: 10 mins


  • 100g Tilda® Pure Basmati
  • 130ml rice milk
  • 1 large spoonful natural yoghurt greek style
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Half tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g blueberries
  • 1-2 tbsp honey – to taste or alternative syrup of your choice


  1. Cook the Tilda® Pure Basmati rice in excess water for 10 minutes, drain rinse with cold water and drain again
  2. Place rice in a bowl and add the rice milk, yoghurt, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and vanilla
  3. Mix well to combine and leave in a fridge overnight if time allows
  4. To serve top with the blueberries, honey (syrup) and additional yoghurt if desired

For more hearty recipes and information on the Genuine Goodness initiative visit Tilda where you can download the Big Hearted cookbook, created by Sarah Schenker exclusively for Tilda® @TildaBasmati

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